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Valar Qringaomis

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Indians and Black People

BBC World Service - Documentaries, Incarnations: Profiles of Guru Nanak, Mirabai, Akbar and Malik Ambar

"Opposing the Indians was the legendary West Indian team, captained by the great Viv Richards. But I left the match remembering neither the score nor individual performances.

The reaction of the Ahmedabad spectators - that I won't forget. As the West Indians took to the field, loud monkey whoops filled the air and banana skins came raining down from the stands. The pelted players - probably the greatest West Indian team in history - stood there in their flannels - stunned.

Indians' particular contempt for people of African descent - a racism shared even by Mahatma Gandhi and evident in his South African years, doesn't get talked about much. Which is surely one reason little has changed in the 30-odd years since I watched that match.

It's telling that a contemporary perjorative for Africans is Habshi, a word that originally referred to African slaves"
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